Author Topic: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.  (Read 12785 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« on: October 04, 2015, 11:46:26 AM »
Rubbra: Symphony 7
Tchaikovsky: Symphony 6 'Pathetique'
Vaughan Williams: Symphony 6 (or 5)
Sibelius: Symphony 3
Shostakovich: Symphony 4
Tournemire: Symphony 3 'Moscow'

Another absurd thread but never mind  8)
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2015, 12:07:56 PM »
Mahler 6
Brahms 4
Bruckner 5
Dvorak 6
Mozart 41
Martinu 5
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2015, 12:14:49 PM »
Mahler 6
Brahms 4
Bruckner 5
Dvorak 6
Mozart 41
Martinu 5

Fine choices. I might have gone for Martinu Symphony 4 as I love the inspiriting ending, especially in Turnovsky's recording. Agree with both Brahms and Bruckner.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline The new erato

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2015, 02:14:14 PM »

Vaughan Williams: Symphony 6

Not the 6th surely? I love the fabulous, stormy 1st movement.

Offline amw

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2015, 02:32:23 PM »
some others that could be mentioned:
Beethoven 8 and 9
Mahler 3, 8 (?) & 10
Shostakovich 15
Nielsen 4 (inasmuch as it has 'movements')
Brahms 3 and arguably 1
Hindemith 'Mathis der Maler'
Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2015, 03:01:15 PM »
Fine choices. I might have gone for Martinu Symphony 4 as I love the inspiriting ending, especially in Turnovsky's recording. Agree with both Brahms and Bruckner.

I couldn't offer any choices because I don't know offhand too many symphonies where the finale is so clearly superior to the other movements. It's the whole progression that matters, not any individual movement (and sometimes where an individual movement might appear lesser in itself - like the Beethoven Pastorale - it becomes justified by its place in the whole). Brahms 4? I think the last movement is terrific, but no more than the 1st or 2nd movements. (The 3rd movement may be the least impressive in itself, but it does the necessary job of lowering the tension in preparation for the finale.) But I don't think Brahms ever wrote a more superlative, tempestuous coda than the ending of the first movement of the 4th, so how can I say the finale is the "best"? Mahler 3? The finale is awesome, but the gigantic first movement may be the most astonishing large structure Mahler ever created.
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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2015, 03:33:00 PM »
I couldn't offer any choices because I don't know offhand too many symphonies where the finale is so clearly superior to the other movements. It's the whole progression that matters, not any individual movement (and sometimes where an individual movement might appear lesser in itself - like the Beethoven Pastorale - it becomes justified by its place in the whole). Brahms 4? I think the last movement is terrific, but no more than the 1st or 2nd movements. (The 3rd movement may be the least impressive in itself, but it does the necessary job of lowering the tension in preparation for the finale.) But I don't think Brahms ever wrote a more superlative, tempestuous coda than the ending of the first movement of the 4th, so how can I say the finale is the "best"? Mahler 3? The finale is awesome, but the gigantic first movement may be the most astonishing large structure Mahler ever created.

I feel similarly. I guess Mozart 41 and Bruckner 5 fit. All the one movement symphonies.  :)

Offline Brian

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2015, 03:49:58 PM »
Mahler 3? The finale is awesome, but the gigantic first movement may be the most astonishing large structure Mahler ever created.

The first movement of Mahler 3 is my favorite Mahler, by far. It could very nearly have been a standalone symphony. This is also, by the way, the piece with which I finally defused my mom's terror of Mahler. I convinced them to go to a local concert without telling them what was on the program. On the drive down to the concert hall, my parents finally asked and I said, "Mahler's Third." "Mahler?!???!?! Oh no!!" My mom was angry at me for dragging them there.

And then the music started and, as she said afterwards, that first movement held her in utter grip from first note to last. "I've never heard an orchestra sound like that," she said, "and he obviously knew the instruments and how to use them more than anybody else ever did."

Anyway, as for final movements? amw's choice of Beethoven 8 is my favorite choice so far. Mozart 41 fits, and one could argue for Sibelius 5 (though the first movement is utterly extraordinary). I'd also nominate Schubert 6 "Little C Major", Haydn 82 "The Bear", and Prokofiev 1 "Classical". Maaaaybe Prokofiev 7?

Oh. Mahler 2, duh.

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2015, 04:09:04 PM »
Oh. Mahler 2, duh.

OK, Mahler 2. OK, Mozart Jupiter - but only because of that passage in the coda. I think I like the first movement of LvB 8 best, so there.
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Offline TheGSMoeller

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2015, 05:01:37 PM »
RVW 1
Prokofiev 6
Haydn 45 & 98
Elgar 1
Bruckner 5
Sibelius 6

These are the first that come to mind, I'm sure there are more.

Offline Jay F

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2015, 11:14:03 AM »
Mahler 2, 8

Tchaikovsky 6

Beethoven 9

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2015, 11:30:07 AM »
Sibelius 2
Beethoven 5
Schumann 4
Mahler 3
Bruckner 8
Mendelssohn 5

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2015, 11:32:06 AM »

Shostakovich: Symphony 4


Oh boy, how could I forget this one!  :o

Offline Mr. Three Putt

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2015, 11:39:57 AM »
For me, Bruckner 5 is a no brainer and Beethoven 5 is close to the same.

Mahler 2 though is certainly up for debate. That first movement..........tough call.

A few others

Ries 5 and 6
Sibelius 7 (cheating)
Schubert 4

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2015, 11:49:02 AM »
Best? ...well, favorite movements of these symphonies anyway.

Atterberg 5 (with the waltz finale)
Saint-Saens 3 "Organ"
Bruckner 2
Bruckner 5
Sibelius 5
Vaughan Williams 4
Haydn 73 "La Chasse"
Ives 2
Dvorak 8

Hindemith 'Mathis der Maler'

Mendelssohn 5

Yes, and yes.

Sarge
« Last Edit: October 05, 2015, 11:57:02 AM by Sergeant Rock »
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Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2015, 11:51:15 AM »
OK....Way too many people mentioning Bruckner's 5th symphony.   ???

I find this finale to drag on for too long, and it is one of my least favorite movements of any Bruckner symphony.  I much prefer the other 3 movements.  Different strokes for different folks.

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2015, 11:53:57 AM »
OK....Way too many people mentioning Bruckner's 5th symphony.   ???

I find this finale to drag on for too long, and it is one of my least favorite movements of any Bruckner symphony.  I much prefer the other 3 movements.  Different strokes for different folks.

The coda is spectacular, rivaling the Eighth's. I love your Bruckner pick too, Nut, but marginally prefer the first movement for that very un-Bruckner-like Coriolan ending.
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline OrchestralNut

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2015, 11:55:31 AM »
The coda is spectacular, rivaling the Eighth's. I love your Bruckner pick too, Nut, but marginally prefer the first movement for that very un-Bruckner-like Coriolan ending.

The 8th is difficult, I like the other movements just as much as the finale, to be honest.  That first movement does have a great ending.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2015, 11:58:53 AM »
Not the 6th surely? I love the fabulous, stormy 1st movement.
Actually I love the whole symphony which would probably be my No.1 desert island choice. In a way I agree about the first movement with the great tune at the end. However, there is nothing like the final movement in any other work I have heard and it is my favourite movement. It has been described as 'an eerie progression through a bleak wasteland' which appeals to me.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Six symphonies where the final movement is the best.
« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2015, 12:00:08 PM »
RVW 1
Prokofiev 6
Haydn 45 & 98
Elgar 1
Bruckner 5
Sibelius 6

These are the first that come to mind, I'm sure there are more.
You are so right about the RVW Symphony 1 - it contains by far the best music in the symphony.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).